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RPS backs care home training for pharmacists

English pharmacy board chair Sandra Gidley says the society may get involved in training members to take the lead managing medicines in care homes


The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) wants to see a training scheme to support its plans to align a pharmacist with every care home.

The RPS said last week (February 23) that pharmacists could save the NHS £135 million a year by optimising care home patients’ medicines and keeping them out of hospital.

Training to support pharmacists to provide this new role is a “really good idea”, RPS English pharmacy board chair Sandra Gidley told C+D.

In the past, the RPS has left training schemes for new roles to other organisations, Ms Gidley said. "There are opportunities to look at how we get involved with training,” she told C+D.

Ms Gidley stressed there is an “appetite” among pharmacists, particularly in the community sector, to take on new roles and build a "portfolio career".

Barriers between hospital pharmacists and community pharmacists are beginning to break down, with both professions interested in working in care homes, she added.

Ms Gidley revealed that the Department of Health had “encouraged" the RPS to publish its proposals, which also included pharmacists reviewing the use of psychotropic drugs in care homes – including antipsychotics – to ensure their use is kept to a minimum.


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